The United States on Wednesday announced the resumption of trade negotiation talks with Kenya which are set to begin on October 4 and end on October 7.
The talks are a part of the US-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP), launched in July 2022, with the aim of increasing; and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses as well as supporting African regional economic integration.
The meeting will take place in Washington DC under the stewardship of Assistant United States Trade Representative(USTR) Constance Hamilton and will include delegates from Kenya and representatives from several other government agencies.
The meeting marks the second bout of negotiations, following the inaugural meeting earlier this year.
“The negotiators last met in person under the STIP in April 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, and have continued to make progress in deepening mutual understanding and resolving differences,” a statement from the United States Trade Representative read in parts.
Later in July 2023, USTR Katherine Tai visited Kenya and held discussions with President William Ruto during which they discussed the progress of STIP, the reception it has received and the momentum of negotiations.
This new 4 day convention, will focus on four main topics; agriculture, anti-corruption, inclusivity, and services domestic regulation.
Initially, Kenya's trade deals with the US encountered hitches after LGBTQ advocates demanded that US President Biden suspend the talks until the anti-gay bill proposed by Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma, which has since been thrown out by the Supreme Court, was dropped.
"The STIP negotiations take place during a critical time, as LGBTQI+ people in Kenya face grave danger. For this reason, we ask you to pause these negotiations and only resume if President Ruto commits to vetoing any legislation that criminalizes the LGBTQI+ community," a, letter dated June 8 2023, from US lobby groups read in parts.
The bill in question sought to ban homosexuality, same-sex unions, and LGBTQ activities and campaigns proposing jail terms of up to 50 years.
With that off the way, the US is forging ahead with the talks.
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